In what is seemingly becoming a tradition, I’m back with another review of my favourite custom ROM, Rasbeanjelly from Rascarlo. It’s the first custom ROM I flash on any device, not just because the thread is one of my favourites to be a part of, but the sense of community and information sharing on any of the “Trinity family” threads really has enriched my experience of using Android. Self builds from Rascarlo’s source code are very much encouraged, and that’s because of the minimal, bug free, approach of Rasbeanjelly.
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So if you are looking for a custom ROM for your Nexus 4, what will you get with Rasbeanjelly? Well, let’s start at the beginning:
Holo gradients are mostly gone, and replaced with solid black backgrounds instead. You’ll notice this in the settings menu, as well as the quick settings panel. And that’s where you’ll notice some changes as well. The quick settings panel adds a few neat functions over stock, for example, bring up your sync settings (and toggle) by simply long pressing your profile image top left.
You’ll also find some quick settings added to the panel, which isn’t customisable by the way, including an orientation toggle, screen off, and shortcut to the power menu. Swiping across the bottom bar also makes one-handed operations easier as it switches between the notification panel and quick settings effortlessly.
Under your system settings you’ll also find the Rasbeanjelly system tweaks, here you can change numerous software functions. These include the status bar, navigation bar, volume rocker behavior, lockscreen shortcuts and quick launch shortcuts.
The ROM is based on the very latest version of the AOSP, so the build isn’t the same as the factory images released by Google. Those are based on the more stable, JWR branch of the AOSP, whereas Rasbeanjelly, and most others on XDA are based on the JSS branch of the AOSP. This comes with a number of benefits, and from what I can tell only one drawback.
The benefits are improved kernel and GPU commits, but the biggest one for me has to be that the JSS branch has ARP offloading enabled, meaning the notification delay bug from 4.2.2 has finally been squashed, however if you’re on JWR, you will still have it sadly. I’ve just touched on the difference between the two branches, but for a more in-depth explanation, go here.
The single disadvantage I am referring to is of course the “deadlock” issue present in the JSS branch of the AOSP, which has led ROMs like Paranoid Android to merge JWR and JSS builds for stability, but that said, I’ve probably only experienced five to ten of these lockups over the past few months, so it’s not an issue to me.
So now that we’ve sorted the AOSP version out, what else does Rasbeanjelly have? Truth be told, not much, but that is kind of the point. It’s a very stock feeling ROM and with just enough customisations to keep you happy and your phone, your own. I love the theming; I think Rascarlo has added everything needed in a custom ROM that can’t be achieved with other apps from the Play Store. The result is a lightweight and stable replacement for stock that is not only more useful, it’s more customisable. I would advise you to use the Paranoid Android Gapps package to get your Google fix with Rasbeanjelly, and if you have any questions you can head to the xda thread for your Nexus device (maguro, mako, manta, grouper) and ask them there, someone will be happy to help you out. It’s the beauty of Rasbean. And I can’t recommend it highly enough.
Verdict: Rasbeanjelly is practically perfect for my needs and for those who remember Oxygen from the “good old days,” this is very similar. There’s nothing you don’t need, just all the speed and stability you want from a daily driver. Flash it and watch Babylon burn.
Image: eleZeta via Flickr.